How to Safely Decorate the Exterior of Your Custom Home for the Holidays

The Holidays are right around the corner and even if your décor style isn’t like the Griswold’s you still might want to do what you can to protect your custom home while decorating. We have compiled some best practices and tips in hopes to help keep your custom home the way you intended it to be, custom for you!

‘Nailed It!’ …Maybe Not So Much

It might seem quick and easy to nail a decoration to your home but using nails, or even staple guns, can leave behind holes and penetrations to the exterior of your home. It might seem like a hole that smallwould be insignificant but it potentially could lead to larger issues. What else can you use instead? Check out our next two tips!

Manufacturers Know Best

We encourage people to use the recommended clips that come with your lights and decorations. If you don’t have the manufacturer provided clips, extra clips that are specifically designed to attach decorations to either roof shingles or gutters can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Commander Says…

Command strips are highly recommended to secure your favorite decorations to your custom home. They are a temporary solution to fit your need, are strong enough to complete the task, and leave little to no marks once they are removed.

Bullhorns are the New Holiday Need?

Another way to protect your roof and gutters while decorating is to make sure that you have a standoff ladder stabilizer, commonly known as a bullhorn. This feature on a ladder not only helps make sure that the ladder is secure for your personal safety but also so that the weight of the ladder is properly distributed and not placed on your gutters or shingle overhang.

The Lighter the Better

Lighter weighted decorations, such as blow-ups, are ideal to put on your roof. Heavy decorations can easily add up weight and put too much stress on your roof than it’s designed to withstand. When it comes to your roof, the lighter the better!

Light Show!

Hologram lights are easy to shine onto the exterior of home. Typically, there are just a few holes in your lawn, leaving no mess on your home!

Would You Use… Wood?

J&J Custom Homes recently had a project where we used a very special type of wood for the exterior as well as an interior accent wall. This extremely beautiful wood is called IPE (pronounced “ee-pay”) and to some extent can be compared to Mahogany.

Never heard of it? Most haven’t! It’s a South American, rich brown stunning exotic wood with red and amber hues and the color varies considerably from board to board. It’s very dense and up to five times harder than most woods. Guess what else? It is naturally resistant to weather, rotting, abrasions, and insects. A wonderful selection for durability as well as beauty!

Official Rendering of Laburnum Ave
Official Rendering of Laburnum Ave

This fantastic, contemporary home is located in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, NC at 2120 Laburnum Avenue. Could this be YOUR next dream home?

What about actual mahogany? It’s famous for its coloring and durability with high-quality furniture, but did you know that it’s also perfect for decking? It doesn’t rot, shrink, or warp due to weathering and it tends to have a lifespan of 20 years with little to no maintenance. Mahogany wood polishes well so, with proper maintenance, the lifespan of a mahogany deck can last even 40-50 years! The possibilities with mahogany seem to be almost endless for both interior and exterior spaces.

Lastly, we wanted to showcase a type of wood that is notorious for its benefits, cedar! It’s commonly known for its unique scent and the fact that it deters pesky moths, but what else? Due to its durability and resilience to rot, it is an excellent wood that can be used for exterior areas including shingles or alongside decking. Cedar is also an excellent selection inside your home for your ceiling or cladding. With all its advantages, please be aware that it does require maintenance, may be susceptible to scratches and has the potential to be flammable.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the many types of unique and beautiful wood selections that can bring a great aesthetic as well as a physical benefit to your home!  Selecting the right type of wood for your custom home is important and we encourage homeowners to do additional research to find the type of wood that meets their specific needs and budget.

We hope that we have inspired you, and that you can now answer our question “Would you use….wood?”

The Science of Rain Chains

Is it decoration? Is it a wind chime? No, they’re rain chains! But what are they?

Who is a good candidate for rain chains?

Any homeowner who wants to have a modern look to their house! Each set is completely customizable with different designs and patterns to custom fit your home and to help make it look unique and interesting. It’s a wonderful alternative to a traditional downspout.

How are they designed?

The styles are either of a chain link style with the second most popular being of a cup-like style. The style affects how the water runs down from the gutter system. If you want a waterfall-type look, then you would want the chain link style but if you favor more of hearing the sound of water dripping with less splash then you would go with the cup style.

How do they work?

The chain link style creates a surface-tension as the water falls with the path of the least resistance, ending up with a stream-like effect. The cup style will catch the most water for a heavy flow, which is why they are typically paired at the bottom with either river stones or a decorative basin with a drain.

Where are they a better option than gutters on a house?

The front porch is a popular place for rain chains because they serve a more aesthetic purpose and are easily viewed and enjoyed from the common area, whether it’s for the visual or sound effects.

J&J Custom Homes 2021 Accomplishments

It is hard to believe that another year came and went in what feels like the blink of an eye! While the pandemic continued to affect the world in many aspects, other elements of life were able to gradually resume a sense of normalcy. No matter what the case, J&J Custom Homes did not slow down! 2021 was an amazing year, let’s recap all of the exciting projects that were completed during those busy 12 months.

Parson Street Project

This beautiful home was completed in an amazing location between Noda and Uptown Charlotte. It stood apart with its exquisite craftsman kitchen and included a 2-sided fireplace. This is also where we first introduced a new closet system that brought functionality and luxury to our homes.

Sardis Lane Project

This one-of-a-kind home was such a special project for our J&J family. This was a custom creation for a customer, and it was memorable by the wonderful relationship that we enjoyed with the owners through the process. This gorgeous home features elegant and modern designs while still tying in traditional and exotic elements. Something that stands out about this home was the strong tile work and distinguished kitchen appliances that are both esthetically pleasing and functionally top of the line.

Greyson Ridge Lot 9 Project

This lovely home holds extra sentimental value as being the first home sold in our Greyson Ridge subdivision. It is the largest home in this J&J-built neighborhood and has stand-out finishes. Between the impeccable granite selection, multiple owner’s retreats, and a modern open design concept, this home was not only memorable to build, but even more memorable to sell to its new owners.

Simpson Drive Project

This striking home is situated in the downtown Charlotte area and possesses many unique features that we were proud and excited to reveal. If the double-sided fireplace wasn’t exciting enough, it boasts its smart home features, stunning owner’s retreat bathroom chandelier, and a large spacious laundry room that would get anyone excited. It was the first of five of our downtown projects possessing J&J Custom Homes’ new modern design.

2021 was an exciting and noteworthy year for the J&J Custom Homes family. However, 2022 is only looking to be even more thrilling and we can’t wait to continue to reveal our new and innovative projects. Stay tuned and don’t forget to reach out to us and let us know how we can make your custom homes dreams come true!

Redesigning Your Kitchen Layout

It’s often said that “The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home” and don’t we know how true that is! The majority of families around the world would agree that the kitchen is easily the most important room in the home. It is the center that everything revolves around and is often where most of the families’ hours are spent together. However, are you starting to feel like this important hub in your home (or your future custom home) can use a revamp? Let’s talk about some concepts to consider in redesigning your kitchen layout.

Countertop Layout

A good option for upgrading your countertop situation is by figuring out if an Island or a peninsula is a good opportunity for adding a practical yet stylish piece to your kitchen. What are some things to consider when deciding which way to go? The difference between an island and a peninsula are that an island is free standing and give access from all sides, whereas a peninsula is attached on one end and has three open sides. With an island, you have room to be creative because you can have contrasting colors and materials for a fun accent. When it comes to a peninsula, you might want to match it to the rest of your countertops and thus can create a very elegant, classic and cohesive look. A peninsula also requires less floor space and thus is ideal for a smaller kitchen. If you have more space to play with then an island is a great way to add extra seating and storage.

Pantry

We can likely all agree that there are few things better than an amazing pantry! Storing your food in outdated high-up cabinetry is a thing of the past. One way to update your kitchen and make your life easier is by designing the pantry of your dreams. Walk-in pantries are a game changer for a family home, providing you with plenty of space to keep food well-stored and organized. Built-in shelving, floating shelves, custom door storage and organizer systems are great avenues to go with to maximize your space and also keep things tidy and uncluttered. Another trending idea to really modernize your pantry is to use glass-door panels. If you prefer a more inconspicuous look, a hidden pantry in which your walk-in pantry is disguised as cabinet drawers is certainly a good direction for refreshing and upgrading your kitchen storage without detracting from the simplistic look.

Lighting

A seemingly small way to make a big difference is by upgrading your kitchen lighting. Adding some fun new pendants, sconces, or chandeliers can give your kitchen a new ambiance. These fixtures can become a showpiece to the room and also help create symmetry as well. On the other hand, recessed lighting can provide increased practicality by giving more illumination to the room while doing it in a minimalistic and understated fashion. Also, consider switching to energy efficient lighting to cut costs, conserve energy, and become more environmentally friendly.

Flooring

The type of flooring you choose can make a huge difference to the esthetic, as well as provide functionality and durability to this high-traffic area of your home. Some options for materials to choose between for an upgraded floor would be wood, tile, stone, and ceramic tile. The flooring style you select can also help contribute to the overall look you’re hoping to achieve, whether it be farmhouse, contemporary, industrial, or anything else. As far as color goes, cool and light colors can really give your home the more natural and earthy feel that is popular right now. Darker, more traditional floors can make a large kitchen feel warmer and cozier, as well as provide a modern style and provide distinction from lighter colored walls. Pattern and texture choice is also a way to get creative with your design. Patterns like herringbone and chevron are trendy in new homes and give a unique fun style to a once ordinary looking floor. Tile is also a way to give some originality with shapes and movement and can be good for either a modern or vintage style home.

Whichever design trends or ideas you choose to implement in your new kitchen should only enhance the love your family has for this sacred space. By creating the kitchen of your dreams, your family can continue to have a space for gathering and making memories that will last a lifetime. If you are creating the home of your dreams with J&J Custom Homes, the options are truly limitless! Just give us your vision and let us help you make it a reality.

Making Your Home’s Exterior as Pretty as the Interior

The times of backyards being a separate part of the home are long gone! We are officially living in a period where our home’s exteriors are simply an extension of its’ beautiful interior. More than ever before, families are wanting to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air and feeling more connected to nature while still enjoying “homey” comforts. Are you looking to revamp your outdoor living area this year? Here are a few ideas to consider!

  1. Backyard Seating Areas

This may seem like a given, but a backyard seating area goes far beyond just some outdoor furniture. In order to have a space that you truly want to use, an outdoor seating area is just as much about comfort as it is about functionality. For example, look into an actual structural design that will make your backyard seating area more practical. This could include pavers, multi-purpose furniture, or even a gazebo. On a simpler wavelength, even a hammock with a unique design or a hanging cocoon chair can bring that touch of simplicity and comfort that your backyard is missing. The more thought you put into the seating areas, the more likely your family is to actually use it on a regular basis.

  1. Backyard Fire Pit

Changing weather and seasons does not need to be a dominating factor of your home’s exterior and how usable it is. By implementing fun accessories such as fire pits, outdoor heaters, and dreamy outdoor lighting, your family will want to use your backyard just as much on cooler days as they do on summer days. Modern designs such as smart lights or electric pits also make these gadgets so simple and easy for all members of the family to use with ease. Not only will this become a family favorite, but it will also provide more opportunities for entertaining friends in a casual and comfortable outdoor setting.

  1. Backyard Kitchens

It is no secret that in every culture, nothing brings people together more than food! So, what better way to make your outdoor space a more inviting place to gather than by implementing some culinary elements. Some ways to do this could be by building a small outdoor kitchen, a bar area, or even a pizza oven! These are long-term investments that will provide you with years of opportunity to entertain guests or even simply enjoy family meals outdoors. Whether it’s a grill, a smoker, an icemaker or a brick oven, choose the appliances that fit your family’s style best… and enjoy!

These are only a few popular ideas to consider when revamping your home’s exterior. Remember, it’s all about practicality and functionality. Don’t forget to personalize it so that your backyard is something beautiful and perfectly fit for your family’s style! Really, there is no reason why your home’s exterior shouldn’t be just as beautiful as the interior.

Looking to customize your entire home? Give us a call for a consultation for J&J Custom Homes to build your dream home at 704-234-8202

Give Your House a Summer Facelift!

We officially made it to the day everyone’s been waiting for… the start of summer!

No surprise that this season is a fan favorite, full of sunshine, long days, warm weather and time off with the family. Did you realize that it’s also the best time to give your house a “summer facelift”? Let’s talk about the things you should check on to maintain your house and take advantage of summertime!

Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning out your gutters is definitely a perfect task to accomplish during summer months. Why are gutters such an integral part of your house and roof? The purpose of gutters is to collect water and move it away. However, because the water comes with other particles, they can become clogged and have dirt build-up. By cleaning your gutters, you can avoid mold, mildew, nest formation, flooding, corrosion, and water damage. It is definitely an important chore that, unfortunately, goes forgotten. Don’t forget it this summer!

Check Siding Around Windows

The nice summer weather is also the perfect time to get your siding checked. An especially important place to check your siding is around your windows. Why is that? The caulking by the siding is what makes sure that water does not get behind your windows. Additionally, over time siding can become loose and damaged just by normal wear and tear, or also by previous storms or harsher weather. Why not use this summer to get your siding checked?

Roof Inspection and Repair

Another perfect item to attend to in the summer is a roof inspection. The roof is the literal protection over our heads, so its’ condition is absolutely crucial! Many people wait until it’s too late to discover that their roof was no longer in good shape and has resulted in missing shingles, leaks, a sagging roof or bad insulation inside your home. Another thing to keep in mind during the summertime is if you need roof ventilation. The point of roof ventilation is to help with the moisture that builds up in the roof that can lead to rot, mold and even malfunctioning insulation. Catch any roofing issues before it’s too late and becomes more costly!

Repainting

Changing the exterior color of the home is definitely something that many find themselves itching to do. What better time than during sunny summer months? Not only is it a perfect revamp to your homes’ style, but it may also be a great time to match a new color to a new roof and knock out a complete exterior makeover!

Look at all of the tasks you could check off your house facelift checklist in just a few short months! Not only will these modifications make your house feel rejuvenated during summer, but it will also be a proactive move to protect your homes longevity. Yes, if you act now, you can save later!

If you’re ready to go beyond the house facelift and start your next chapter with a completely new custom-built home, J&J Custom Homes is here to make that happen! Give us a call and find out what gorgeous homes we have available this summer season. 704-234-8202

How the Housing Market Is Changing Due to the Current Economy

While the COVID-19 pandemic had negative impacts on many elements of the economy during 2020, some things had surprisingly pleasant effects. One of the biggest shocks was the amazing reaction of the housing market despite the drastic hardships that the world has seen.
In what sense has the housing market changed during the current economic situation and how does that continue to be the case? We have a few answers to that.

2020 saw impressive percentage increases in several aspects of the housing market such as home worth and home sales. 2021 isn’t appearing to veer from that, but rather only continue upwards bound. While there could be many reasons why home sales boomed and continue to do so, a couple of reasons stand out. One of these is people’s increased appreciation for their homes due to the stay-at-home experience. Another fact was that, thanks to new online platforms, real estate was able to continue forward without skipping a beat. Listings, showings, and contracts could all be done from the comfort of the buyer and sellers’ homes.

Another big contributor to this booming housing market were the millennials, who were and are actively buying homes without holding back. It is no wonder that it is such a competitive market right now as more people than ever are on the hunt to find a home, meaning that houses are flying off the market.

The fact that it has become harder and harder to find houses has led to increased need for new construction, which will also be an exciting boost to the market. It is also an exciting time to become a homeowner since house values are appreciating due to the supply and demand, as well as the all-time low mortgage rates, which is a win on top of another win for many home buyers.

On top of this nationwide housing market boom, Charlotte also made it onto the Realtor.com list of top ten housing markets for 2021, and we are not surprised! If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is that location is EVERYTHING. With more time being spent in the home and in the nearby surroundings, it is logical why this market is so hot. It’s bigger than just the housing market, these are investments into our futures and preparedness for whatever may be up ahead.

Not only has this pandemic been surprisingly good for the market, but post-pandemic is predicted to only get better! Experts are saying that the bounce-back after COVID-19 will mean even more surge for the housing market, if we can even imagine that!

Right now, the forecast is that new construction homes will be even more fruitful than existing home sales. What does that mean? Well perhaps for you, that means that now might just be your perfect time to finally look into making your custom home dreams come true. Let J&J Custom Homes make this a memorable experience you will never forget. 2021 is the year to do it!

What Exciting Home Design Trends Will 2021 Hold?

After 2020 being a historical and unprecedented year, many are excited to  see what the New Year will bring. Each New Year typically brings fresh and exciting home design and décor trends; however, it looks like 2021 may be exceptionally so! It comes with no surprise considering how much more important homes have become this year due to the global pandemic. Sheltering in place and spending more time at home have affected these forecasted trends for 2021:

Color Trends

Paint companies have recently released their official colors for 2021 and it isn’t hard to see that 2020 influenced their choices. Some of the colors selected were variations of grey, yellow, teal, dark bronze, lavender, dusty blue, and taupe. The reason for their choices were the emotions behind the colors that have recurring descriptions being comforting, relaxing, serene, uplifting, inspirational, and soothing. These words are no coincidence. Color trends have been impacted by the kinds of feelings people have been needing, and will continue to add, to their homes in the New Year. With people doing more telework and virtual learning, the vital ambiance of our homes has shifted and these new color trends will help achieve more positive emotions.

Kitchen Designs

While many of the same kitchen design trends from 2020 are not expected to go anywhere, there are a few new visions projected for the New Year. One of these styles is a more organic vibe, including the incorporation of materials such as clean and minimalist wood finishes, as well as other natural elements and materials. Kitchens have now become more multi-purpose than ever before and we expect to see this in new structural and design concepts. Some of these may include larger kitchen islands, increased storage to decrease clutter, and different styles to make the kitchen more multi-functional. The kitchen will no longer be just for eating and cooking, but it will also be a space for working, studying, and recreation. Natural materials such as quartz will continue to be a popular choice along with other simple, solid surfaces and backsplashes that keep cleaning and maintenance easy.

Common Areas

Open spaces have been a very popular layout trend in recent years. Separated kitchens, low ceilings, and walled-off living rooms have quickly became a thing of the past. Although we do not expect to see a huge change with this concept, we are anticipating some shifts towards creatively finding design techniques that use up any previously unusable space and creating more little havens instead. Whether it be an office space, craft room, virtual workout room, reading nook, or even a “zoom room”, the open concept will be re-interpreted in multiple ways to provide some privacy for different and new home tasks. Another general trend that will likely continue to rise in popularity is smart-home technology and implementing more use of touchless options, particularly in lieu of this years’ increased awareness of health and sanitation.

Outdoor Living

Of all the increases we have seen this year, one of the most outstanding and refreshing ones has been people’s increased appreciation for spending time outdoors! Apart from walks and bike rides, people have been desperately looking for ways to spend time outside to get fresh air while still at home. Multi-season, functional outdoor spaces will certainly be a craze that we expect to see in 2021 design and construction. This will include everything from porches, patios, and balconies to outdoor kitchens, outdoor dining areas, gardens, and even stylish fire pits. The homes’ outside will be just as important as the inside!

Roofing

No part of the home is left behind when it comes to new trends! The desire for more economically and environmentally friendly options will continue to increase, bringing solar panel roofs and solar shingles to keep growing in popularity. Something else that we have seen already and expect to see more of is requests are for additional skylights. This comes as no surprise considering that with people spending more time indoors, they crave natural light to boost morale and optimism. As far as materials go, architectural shingles will continue to be popular because they are both esthetically pleasing but also affordable. The predicted increase comes with the desirability for lighter and brighter colors as a continuation of the calm and tranquil atmosphere inside the home. Lastly, the demand for synthetic slate roofs will likely also gain popularity because 2020 had no shortage of natural disasters including tornados, hurricanes, and wildfires. Synthetic slate therefore is sought after because of its high fire resistance and storm impact ratings.

A lot of fun and exciting home design trends await us as we delve into 2021. One thing is for sure, our homes are quickly becoming more important than ever before!

How Did the Real Estate Market Stay Strong During a Global Pandemic?

As the year comes to a close, there is one thing that people around the world can agree on and it is that 2020 has truly been a year like no other. Stock market crashes, wildfires, protests, impeachment, murder hornets, allegations of election fraud, and yet, above all else, the thing that 2020 will probably most be remembered for is the infamous COVID-19 global pandemic. It has been a series of life-changing events that we continue to deal with into the coming New Year.

Of all the things that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, one thing that has surprisingly stayed strong has been the real estate market in the United States. Many are wondering how it could even be possible. Here are a few things that have contributed to its success:

  1. Interest rates have been at a momentous low this year, paired with notable buyer demand. This has resulted in lower inventory in the housing market and, therefore, buyers who are very eager and willing to pay more for real estate.
  2. Governmental assistance such as stimulus money, mortgage relief programs, and even protection from evictions have given consumers a needed boost and confidence to continue actively contributing to the housing market.
  3. The emphasis and shift this year to work-from-home lifestyles and homeschooling have given people a newfound weight to the importance of their home. The pandemic crisis has driven the appeal of suburban living and more expansive residences since people witnessed the struggles that came with enduring a health crisis in congested cities and rentals.
  4. The real estate market discovered its ability to not only continue functioning, but to thrive on a digital platform. Everything from 3D showings to virtual closings have proven that a pandemic did not have to slow down the carrying on of real estate transactions. If anything, it has made it even more convenient and comfortable to some who perhaps found the process intimidating.

These are just a handful of reasons why the Real Estate Market stayed strong despite the tumultuous year that engulfed us all while facing a pandemic. We will be watching and waiting curiously to see what unfolds as the battle to combat COVID-19 continues and how that will affect real estate in the year to come.

-Jassmin Al-Hassan